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South Bay Latina business owner reaches success after funding her own dream

Mujer Divina.jpg
Posted at 6:40 PM, Oct 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-12 21:43:35-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — This Hispanic Heritage Month ABC 10News celebrates community and a steadily growing community around the US that are Latina entrepreneurs.

The group faces challenges when it comes to funding and resources.

Inside Mujer Divina, you can hear the sound of traditional cafe de olla brewing

Behind the restaurant’s success is South Bay native Priscilla Curiel.

"It’s very important for me to share my culture, especially through food because food is what we have in tradition with our families,” said Curiel.

She is part of the Latino business community.

Nationally, 40 percent of all Latino-owned businesses are owned by Latinas, according to Stanford's 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Research Report.

She started chasing her dream when she was 19 — doing catering, but finally was able to rent a building for her first restaurant.

It's an accomplishment that came with lots of roadblocks.

"I had to work three jobs to pay the rent for a whole year to sustain the business," said Curiel.

Curiel funded her own dream.

“I wasn’t informed about any resources or help or funds to open a business. So everything, I just did it step by step, month by month," she said.

Funding is something female entrepreneurs overall have a harder time obtaining despite a 2019 Bank Rate report that said half of all women-owned businesses were owned by women of color.

Forbes reports that Latino-owned businesses are funded at a lower rate than non-latino-owned businesses and when they are funded the average loan size is nearly 40 percent of what a non-Latino business owner would receive.

Despite the obstacles, Curiel said she wouldn’t change anything.

"I had a dream. I had a goal and I don’t think that quitting is an option. I mean things happen of course but if it was in my hands, you have to keep going because you have a family to feed and a dream to chase,” said Curiel.

Curiel’s advice to the next generation of Latina business owners is to never give up.

"Even though it feels in the moment that it's really difficult and you probably think at the moment that you’re not going to make it, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel," said Curiel.